Set in the picturesque Austrian Alps, Innsbruck is a renowned winter sports destination that has hosted two Winter Olympics. Innsbruck also offers diverse summer activities that include nature walks and mountaineering. When you fly to Innsbruck, you can enjoy the medieval architecture of the Altstadt, several museums, parks and a coffee house culture that celebrates local Tyrolean cuisine.
The main sights in the Altstadt, or Old Town, include the Gothic 16th-century Hofkirche, which contains the cenotaph of Maximilian I, the imposing facade of the Hofburg Imperial Palace, and the 15th-century Golden Roof, a symbol of the city. Innsbruck is home to museums dedicated to alpine sports and anatomy as well as the natural and cultural history Tyrol. In addition to the Alpenzoo, visitors can experience the elaborate plantings of the Botanischer Garten and the 25-acre Hofgarten. The modern Bergisel ski jump offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Innsbruck Kranebitten Airport (INN) is located less than three miles southwest of the pedestrian-friendly Altstadt. While summer highs can reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit, average winter lows hover near 25 degrees. Annual cultural celebrations include the Christkindlmarkt and the Tiroler Abend with the Gundolf Family show. If you're looking to try traditional dishes while in the area, specialties include the hearty Tiroler Grostl and Speckknodel dumplings.
Innsbruck winters are cold and snowy—but this is prime time if you’re looking to hit the slopes. February and March are the best winter months to travel here, as January lays claim to the lowest average temperatures (around 19 degrees). Innsbruck’s International Four Hills Tournament, held around the New Year, and the Air & Style Snowboard Contest, held in late January, both make good use of the massive Bergisel ski jump, opened here in 2001 on the site of the 1964 and 1976 Olympic Games. The contests shoot skiers and boarders off the 50-meter tower, which also houses a restaurant that serves up panoramic views of Innsbruck.
On the flip side, summer is delightfully comfortable with average daily temperatures in the mid-70s, perfect for hikers and bikers. Innsbruck gets an average of 34 inches of precipitation each year, with July being the wettest month (and March the driest).
The shoulder seasons of spring and fall are great times to visit, with moderate temperatures and fewer crowds.
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